Drone Racing Military Teams

Meet The British Military's Drone Racers

They're working on helicopters for a living, and racing drones in their spare time.

Drone Racing Military Teams

It's a sport that has been gaining momentum in the civilian world, with international competitions held every year and clubs popping up all over the country.

But drone racing has not passed the military by. 

At face-value, drone racing seems like it would offer very little to military people, so getting resources has been difficult in their formative years.

However, the RAF team is a part of the organisation's existing Model Aircraft Association, meaning that it had fewer funding hurdles to overcome than the Army or the Royal Navy. 

But the Army team is growing quickly, and a Royal Navy group has been created in the last few months.

Major Karl Eze said:

"A lot of the guys on the team are in the Royal Artillery, and a lot of them within Unmanned Aerial Systems.

"What they do in their day job is effectively working with military drones, so it sort of reads across in a way, that they're doing it as a hobby as well."


What Is Drone Racing?

Drone Racing involves flying hand-built quadcopters at speeds up to 90mph (0-60mph in 0.3 seconds), with a live video feed from the drone into goggles worn by competitors.

However, the first-person sport requires more than lightning fast reflexes, it also calls for an interest in science and engineering.

Chief Tech Brian Barrett, whose race name is ‘GeekEye’ said: "It encompasses all the sort of science, technology, mathematics, STEM, the big buzz word at the moment within the armed forces. 

"It's a rush, just pushing forward on that pitch axis and throttling up - you're flying, you're proper racing. 

"I joined the air force as an aircraft technician, to work on helicopters and it's exactly that really... it's just going to get bigger."

The Royal Artillery's drone racing team were involved in 'Ex Science in Action' in October 2017, introducing 160 Army cadets to drone racing and the science and technology behind it.